John Carmack, founder and lead developer of Id Software opens the 2011 QuakeCon conference.
In this Keynote, John Carmack discusses some implementation details of the engine powering Id’s next game: Rage. He addresses the issues faced while developing the engine for the PC, the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3 and the problems they had to address while trying to maintain a steady 60 FPS while managing the game’s huge data sets.
The talk also emphasizes the importance of using Static Analysis tools to find bugs in large code bases. Some tools mentioned include “Microsoft Analyse”, “PVS Studio” and “PC lint”.
John Carmack also shares his views on in-game script interpreters. He mentions these are hard to debug and develop as well as the fact that they significantly impact performance and game quality. He recommends not going with dynamic languages, but instead having a strong type system and a very restrictive language. His views are that it is better to find bugs “as early as possible”, ideally at script compile time. He sees the best direction to go is with a Java-like subset of C++: a very strict, C or C++-ish language.
Finally, he closes the Keynote by looking back into the “early days” of game development and comparing that to the process studios have to go through today. He also announces the upcoming release of the Doom 3 source code later this year and recommends getting a copy of Doom 3 from Steam.